Isolation is a recurring theme within many of my stories.
My characters often are thrust into challenging situations where they are alone in a physical, mental, or emotional sense. Their forced solitude requires channeling inner strength to overcome tough obstacles and defeat antagonists placing those obstacles in their path.
Kate, my In Hell’s Shadow protagonist, must find a way to escaped from a mangled car and find help after suffering an accident on an isolated canyon road. Calandra, my Alien People Chronicles co-protagonist, grapples with loneliness and grief when her husband Xttra is abducted from the Lathoan moon Fengar in Dark Metamorphosis and remains missing a year later.
Isolation is a powerful force shaping us in physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual ways. Being alone can be good in limited doses. Solitude offers a chance to meditate, think, plan, and heal — depending on our needs. On the other hand, solitude is not a good thing when isolation is forced on us by others.
Humans are social creatures. We need to feel love and kindness from family and friends to survive. We need to know our lives matter and that other people care about us. When those elements are missing, life can truly feel empty and meaningless.
This idea inspired my latest poem.
I unlock my screen. scroll through my phone. sharing funny photos of cats, dogs, and birds. awaiting smiling emojis and some kind words. No new messages. Neither text nor voice. I open closed doors. walk inside my church enter my workplace arrive at my classroom. Offer a friendly hello, plant a smile on my face. Everyone ignores me. Strangers by choice. I hit a popular club to dance. Join a local book club. Find a trail to hike. My passions and hobbies introduce me to others who like what I like. Their clique bans newcomers Left alone inside and outside. I read a familiar book. Stream a familiar movie. Play a familiar game. Nothing exciting or new. My memories are a blur Days and nights all the same. Loneliness is as advertised. Happiness always denied. I wonder how the world ends. Hungry zombie uprising? Sinister alien invasion? Nothing cataclysmic applies. Only whimpers and whispers characterize this occasion. Fears are irrelevant. Nobody listens or cares. Let the apocalypse begin. Fire rain from clouds Mountains tumble down. What is left to lose? Life changes every smile into a deepening frown. OMG! Gone too soon. Thoughts and prayers.
Wow, this one wrecked me. Really powerful.